EAST LIVERPOOL - The East Liverpool Potters defeated the Beaver Local Beavers 53-37 in girls basketball action Thursday night at Potter Fieldhouse.
Sweeping the season series, the Potters improve to 9-8. The Beavers are currently 4-11. East Liverpool won 68-42 at Beaver Local on December 9.
NIkayla Edgell and Rae Ana Holmes topped the Potters' scoring parade with 14 points each. Kiara Cowart contributed 12 points and Chelsea Possage nine to the Potters' effort. Cowart was solid on the boards, corralling 19 rebounds. Holmes grabbed eight missed shots. Edgell dished out six assists, with Possage and Holmes each having three assists. Possage also had four steals.
Jade Favre led Beaver Local with 10 points. Danna Talbott and Tannar Dolhun netted nine points each.
Utilizing their fast-paced offense East Liverpool jumped out to a 17-5 lead after one quarter. Eleven unanswered points took them from a 2-0 deficit into an 11-2 lead.
"I was concerned about us being able to handle their press at the start of the game, but we did," East Liverpool head coach Allan Dingey. "Beaver Local missed shots and we were able to get out and run."
The Potters held the visitors without a field goal until the 7:23 mark of the second quarter when Dolhun hit a 15-footer.
"We were getting good looks and we weren't taking bad shots," said Beaver Local head coach Stephanie Coie. "They just wouldn't fall. We were also hitting the offensive boards."
Beaver Local cut the deficit to seven, 22-15 on a Talbott putback with 4:20 remaining in the second quarter. East Liverpool then went on a 9-1 scoring binge to hold a 31-16 lead at halftime.
Beaver Local shot 13 percent (4 of 30) from the floor in the first half. They would finish at 21 percent (11 of 53) for the game.
The third quarter was markedly different as Beaver Local was able to slow the Potters down and also started to score on some fastbreaks of their own. Favre tallied five of the Beavers' 11 points in an 11-2 run to start the third quarter. Another Favre basket pulled Beaver Local to within five, 34-29 with 2: 17 remaining in the third frame.
"We played better defense in the third quarter," said Coie. "We made some halftime adjustments. We rotated better and that enabled us to stop their running game."
Two Cowart baskets and an Edgell free throw enabled enabled East Liverpool to lead 39-29 heading into the final eight minutes.
"We weren't pushing the ball as well in the third quarter," said Dingey. "We forced some passes and tried to dribble through some traps. Give Beaver Local credit. They played hard every step of the way. I applaud their effort."
Apparently the Potters found their running shoes between quarters as they came out running full blast in the early minutes of the final quarter. Cowart, Possage, Lindsay Baker and Homes scored quickly as East Liverpool jumped up 14, 45-31 with just two-and-a-half minutes elapsed in the fourth quarter. Two baskets by Edgell and another Cowart hoop offset a Talbott basket and a Sierra Wright free throw for a 51-34 Potter lead. Shortly thereafter, both teams cleared their benches.
"I think we got winded in the fourth quarter," said the Beaver Local coach. "I am proud of our girls, especially going through all the changes that we have made this year. They haven't quit one time and they have done everything that I have asked them to do."
East Liverpool shot 35 percent from the floor (24 of 68) and pulled down 44 rebounds.
"We kept our composure in the fourth quarter," said the East Liverpool coach. "We didn't panic."
The Potters honored their five seniors: India Christian, Kiara Cowart, RaeAna Holmes, Casey Jones and Chelsea Possage in a pre-game ceremony.
"I would like to thank our five seniors for all of their hard work and dedication. They stepped up big, each in their own way, over the course of the season," Dingey said.
The Potters return to action Monday when they host John Marshall in Ohio Valley Athletic Conference consolation tournament action. The Beavers host Brooke that same night in OVAC tournament play.
Paced by Elise Smith's 16 points East Liverpool won the jayvee game 36-25. Taryn Williams was also in double figures with 12. Madison Roberts led Beaver Local with five points.
BEAVER LOCAL: 4-12-13-8-37
EAST LIVERPOOL: 17-14-6-16-53
BEAVER LOCAL SCORING: Danna Talbott 3-3-9, Sierra Wright 1-2-4, Tannar Dolhun 3-3-9, Hillarie Ketchum 0-0-0, Ravenna Cianni 1-1-3, Courtney Ricciardi 0-1-1, Jade Favre 3-4-10, Sam Kendall 0-0-0, Bobbie Ann Theiss 0-0-0, Tiffany Ammon 0-0-0. TEAM TOTALS: 11, 15-25; 37.
EAST LIVERPOOL SCORING: Nikayla Edgell 5-2-16, Kiara Cowart 6-0-12, Chelsea Possage 4-0-9, Rae Ana Holmes 7-0-14, Lindsay Baker 1-0-2, Caitlyn Davis 0-0-0, Mavis Davis 0-0-0, Elise Smith 0-0-0, Taryn Williams 0-0-0, India Christian 0-0-0, Casey Jones 1-0-2. TEAM TOTALS: 24, 2-10; 53.
Three-point goals: East Liverpool 3 (Edgell 2, Possage).